In this case the Court of Cassation applied the principles laid down by the European Court of Human Rights in the case Coppola v. Italy (2009) and by the Italian Constitutional Court in its consequent judgment No. 210 of 2013. According to these principles, Article 7 of ECHR not only implies the non-retroactivity of criminal norms but also, and implicitly, that a criminal norm more favorable to the accused applies also retroactively. The fact that, in the case, the accused had not made recourse to the European Court of Human Rights and that a final judgment had been pronounced against him was irrelevant, because a) the European Court’s ruling in the Scoppola case must be respected in deciding on any further case having the same features; and b) the authority of res iudicata may not prevail over the protection of fundamental human rights, and especially not in a manner inconsistent with previous judgments of the European Court of Human Rights and the Italian Constitutional Court.
Decision of the Constitutional Court No. 210 of 3 July 2013